Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What do your early warning signs tell you ...

about what you are reading on web health information?

Today, 22 January 2008, Kidney Health Australia is sending out this message to us all:

When you go onto the web to look for medical information make sure you get proper professional advice from your GP or specialist to avoid unproven health information.

Kidney Health Australia has released a fact sheet, "Using the Internet to Research Health Information" on the organization's own website aimed at protecting people seeking medical advice.

Many people who are suffering a chronic disease are vulnerable and if given the wrong information can make decisions which can influence their health says KHA CEO Anne Wilson as there are no rules controlling the quality of health information that appears on websites.

Kidney Health Australia says alarm bells should ring viewing a site that has the following qualities:

· Does the site only use case histories or personal testimonies as proof?

· Is the treatment based on a secret formula?

· Does the treatment claim to work on everyone with that condition?

· Does the treatment claim to work immediately and permanently with no further medical intervention required?

· Is the treatment available only from one source? - Eg. over the internet.

· Does the site claim that information about their treatment is being covered up or unfairly attacked by medical professionals?

· Does the site claim to have a cure for a condition?

· Does the site promote self-diagnosis and self prescription?

Kidney Health Australia says consumers need to ask three basic questions:
  • Who runs the website and are they credible?
  • Who pays for the website?
  • Is the material evidence based or focused on selling products?

A full fact sheet is available from http://www.kidney.org.au/ under the patient information section Click Here To Download

Media Enquiries: Anne Wilson, CEO Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0400 165 391

Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0416 149 863

Ron Smith Media Communications Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0417 329 201.

(end of media release)

My family and I are strong supporters of Kidney Health Australia. Every day of our lives we experience the loss of my husband who died from end stage renal disease and end stage cardiac disease resulting from cholesterol embolism.

May we never take our health for granted! Listen to the messages from qualified health professionals and be aware of our own physical, emotional and mental, health.

Personal awareness is not an obsessive trait but indeed means taking personal responsibility for our own health. Speak to your family doctor about any concerns or questions you may have. Be wary of 'quick fixes' mentioned to you by well meaning friends. Avoid responding to clever health related marketing strategies - they are there to take your dollar, not caring for your health!

My husband Capt Peter J. Bayliss A.M. wrote about some of his experiences however, his e-book is now off line but the introduction highlighted here remains on the Lae Gamefishing Club site in Papua New Guinea. Our Son David is working through his Dad's book, correcting typographical errors etc and getting photographs sorted in the correct sequence before posting it back on-line. Read a little about Peter's life and history. You may be surprised!

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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